I had to have a health screening done for my insurance. Apparently, we were told back in July that employees would have one year to do it, and yesterday I got an email saying it had to be done by the end of the month.
Because we are heading out of town it meant it had to get done today, so I went to the drug store clinic.
While I was sitting in the waiting area (or row of four chairs), I noticed that the girl beside me had the same form that needed to be completed.
I asked, “Can you believe they waited to the last second to remind us that we needed to have this screening done?”
“I know. It caught me totally off guard,” she said.
“Right! I mean, why do we have to be responsible for our health care?”
Then she said, “Yeah! And the worst part is the fasting?”
“You’re supposed to fast before you have it done,” she explained.
I thought back. For once it would pay off medically that I hadn’t eaten breakfast. I was good.
A few minutes later the nurse practitioner called me in. Without any warning, she whipped out her tape measure and measured my waist and then called out the number. With a little heads up, I could have sucked in and gotten that number down a bit.
She asked, “You’ve fasted, right?”
As she took some blood and put it in the machine I remembered that I had drunk some coffee earlier. And maybe eaten a few skittles. But surely this wouldn’t skew my results.
If I come clean, she might say I’d have to fast and come back another day. I don’t have another day.
She checked my blood pressure.
“Very nice. One hundred over sixty,” she said.
Next she took my pulse. “Do you exercise? Your pulse is slow.”
“Why yes—I do,” I answered. Thank you for noticing. Never mind the fact that you don’t know me from Adam’s house cat and have no knowledge that I’ve put on about ten pounds since last year.
The timer went off and she took a look at the test results.
“Everything’s good, except your cholesterol. It’s a little high.”
“What? How can I have high cholesterol?” I asked.
“It’s only borderline high. You just need to look at your diet.”
I don’t think so. There’s got to be mistake. I’m NEVER sick. I’m the epitome of health.
“Okay, I had some coffee this morning and I put French vanilla creamer in it. And then on the way here I ate about three Starbursts and a handful of skittles. Maybe that’s skewed my results.”
She just stared at me.
“Okay, and maybe last night around 9 o’clock, I had some frozen yogurt, but it was frozen yogurt.”
She turned back around in her chair and wrote, “Patient did not fast.”
“So it’s probably really normal, right?”
“Actually, the fasting has nothing to do with the total cholesterol part of the screening. Do you eat a lot of fried foods?” she asked.
“How about fast foods?”
She looked at me like she wasn’t buying it.
“Once a week, tops.”
She explained that genetics played a part and all I needed to do was watch it and have it tested again in three months. I wasn’t satisfied. I had to know why it was high. While she continued with the paperwork, I kept thinking about it.
“Okay, I think I know what it is.”
I’m not sure, but I think she wasn’t really interested in hearing my theory. The fact that her back was turned and she kept writing was a tipoff.
“It’s the butter. In the summer I’m off from work and I like to bake. I make a cake probably once a week and they usually have about two sticks of butter in them.”
“Oh,” she said as if someone had just died. “Butter is not your friend.”
And she handed me my paperwork and showed me the door.
I have a long history with butter. My Grandpa showed me how to improve a warm brownie with a pat of butter. I only eat bread for the butter. It just can’t be the butter.
Come to think of it, I have recently discovered Doritos Spicy Sweet Chili chips. It’s possible that I’ve eaten more than my share of them. I’ll have to cut back.
Whew! That’s it. Crisis averted. Mystery solved. And to celebrate, I think I’ll bake a cake.
How about you? Do you have any guilty pleasures? (The eating kind.)